The Aboriginal Glass Ceiling
Or: The Myth of Aboriginal CandyLand
White people love to tell me how much money I have access to being one of those Aboriginals. They also seem to assume that I have a better chance of being hired than an equally qualified white person, because of equal opportunity employment. According to a surprising majority of people, I should be making 40 grand a year, when the reality is this year I MAY clear 8000. MAYBE.
It’s true, my education was largely paid for by my reservation, I am not crippled by a huge student loan, and there were two funding sources I’ve recieved money from solely for Natives.
But now that schools over, I’ve applied at a wide variety of jobs in my field, all of which I’m qualified for, I am still struggling and working in a phone room. And when I look at other close friends of mine who are brilliant Native women, many of us are not employed in our field of expertise. Or where we are employed, it’s really underpaid. Now I don’t have access to production equipment, except for grants, and since it’s still quite new for me to be dependent on grants, I understandably have the fear that being a minority in multiple ways, I won’t get the funding to keep making work.
But back to the job thing. I’m qualified to do so many jobs, and yet I never get called back, even from people advertising as equal opportunity employers. I am beginning to suspect that there is a glass ceiling at work, one no one talks about, one which wants to keep the Aboriginal population as minimum wage slaves. Doing the menial work. It really makes me wonder.
I don’t think Canada is ready for middle class Aboriginals.